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Government to fund £144,000 programme to combat campus antisemitism

New initiative will allow 200 students and university leaders to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau.

    Scheme announced by Sajid Javid will be delivered by the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Union of Jewish Students
    Scheme announced by Sajid Javid will be delivered by the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Union of Jewish Students

    The government is to provide £144,000 in new funding to tackle antisemitism on campus. 

    Sajid Javid, Secretary for Housing, Communities and Local Government, made the announcement today as part of a new programme to support universities in combating Jew-hatred. 

    Mr Javid said he was "proud" that the government was funding the new initiative to "tackle prejudice and intolerance on university campuses”.

    The programme is to be delivered by the Holocaust Educational Trust and the Union of Jewish Students and will enable 200 students and university leaders from across the country to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau. 

    Josh Holt, president of the UJS, said: “Sadly we have seen a distressing increase in swastika graffiti, Holocaust denial literature and politicisation of the Holocaust on some UK campuses. We are determined to combat this and welcome this significant contribution to our longstanding work bringing students of all faiths and backgrounds together to create cohesive campus communities.”

    Students and leaders who visit Auschwitz will also take part in a seminar which will help them to identify and take action against antisemitism.

    Speaking at an HET reception in Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Javid said: “We all have a duty to speak out in the memory of those who were murdered during the Holocaust and all those, today, who are the subject of hatred and antisemitism.

    “Holocaust education remains one of the most powerful tools we have to fight bigotry.

    “The Holocaust Educational Trust has been hugely successful in teaching school children about where hatred, intolerance and misinformation can lead.”

    Karen Pollock, the chief executive of HET, said: “Antisemitism remains a real challenge on campus and tackling it is crucial. We know how important it is to support those people on the frontline dealing with it day in day out, and that is why we are proud to partner with the Union of Jewish Students on this important initiative.

    “Thanks to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, we will jointly lead a specialised course which will include taking student and university leaders to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau so that they can see with their own eyes where antisemitism has led in the past.”

    Mr Holt added: “UJS are very grateful that our partnership with HET is being recognised and supported by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

    “The resources committed today will enable a substantial expansion of student and university leaders receiving the education and training needed to combat antisemitism and prejudice on campus.”

    The programme will be funded by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and builds on HET’s Lessons from Auschwitz programme for school students. 

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